Friday, March 12, 2010


One lovely day in Central Park, Jack Lemmon is shooting film for a documentary when he runs across cute but ditzy Judy Holliday feeding peanuts to the birds and pestering a man who's trying to relax. He films their confrontation, then chats her up. She's an out-of-work girdle model who's depressed because she isn't famous yet. Later, she sees an empty billboard on Columbus Square and imagines her name emblazoned on it; inspired by her talk with Lemmon, she takes her life savings and rents the space for six months, and has just her name (Gladys Glover) put up in huge letters. Meanwhile, two plot strands develop: 1) Lemmon falls in love with her, finds out where she lives, and moves into the same building, and 2) a soap company which traditionally uses the Columbus Square spot gives her six other ad sites to use so they can have the Columbus Square spot back. The soap executive (Peter Lawford) wines and dines her, she gets recognized while shopping at Macy's, and soon she is a whirlwind media starlet (even doing ads for the soap company), though Lemmon is upset at the way fame changes her. So do ya think she'll wind up with the rich exec or the average guy? The idea of someone becoming famous simply for being seen was probably new back then, but this satire seems all the more timely in this era of the Kardashians and Jon & Kate. It's cute all around and Lemmon, in his first starring role, is particularly good (though I'm not crazy about his character, especially in the last half); Michael O'Shea and Connie Gilchrist are in the supporting cast, and 30's star Constance Bennett has a cameo as herself. Fluffy 50's fun, a satire with no real teeth but some chuckles. [TCM]

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